Common Ortho Injuries in Child Athletes and How to Avoid Them
Kids are likely to become stars in particular games if they start early. Unfortunately, injury sometimes affects them. Parents or guardians should learn about common ortho injuries in child athletes and how to avoid them.
Stress fractures are common ortho injuries to the ankle or foot. A stress fracture occurs when fatigue occurs to the inside of a bone due to overuse. The overuse happens when an athlete stresses the bones too much or overdoes an activity. It mostly happens with activities that involve running. Stress fractures make joints and bones unstable when a bone stresses or breaks.
The fractures usually affect the foot and ankle. Stress injury mostly occurs on the heel bone (calcaneus) and metatarsal bones (the connection between the toes and foot). Symptoms of stress fractures include soreness at a particular spot on foot, sensitivity when putting weight on a specific joint and swelling. Bruising occurs in some instances.
A gradual adjustment when increasing intensity, duration, and frequency of workouts helps to prevent stress injuries. Children athletes should wear good quality shoes that are not worn out. They should train cautiously after changing surfaces like a switch to running on asphalt after using a treadmill for long. Foods with vitamin D and calcium and resting between seasons also prevent o stress injuries.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains have similar symptoms creating much confusion between them. A sprain is an injury on the bands of tissue connecting two bones. A strain occurs due to injury on a muscle or a band of tissue attaching muscle to the bone.
A sprain is one of the common ortho injuries in children athletes can happen when working a body part, stretching, or contracting. It is more likely to happen when a person engages in athletic activities before a warm-up to increase blood circulation in the muscles. Many athletes get a sprain on the legs, necks, and back muscles when training after an off-season.
Children athletes can prevent sprains and strains by doing a dynamic warm-up before sporting activity. Jogging, stretching exercises, butt kicks, and high knees are good warm-up activities. Strengthening exercises during the off-season and gradual increase of intensity during training programs prevent sprains and trains. Other preventative tips are wearing appropriate and well-fitting shoes for the sport and avoiding wet or uneven surfaces when running.
An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear or injury is a sprain or separation of strong tissue bands that stabilize the knee joint and connect the lower leg to the thigh bone. ACL injury occurs when the joints fail to withstand a sudden force that hits it after a rapid change of direction. Force to a joint happens when an athlete slows down when running, changes direction, or lands from a jump. ACL is one of the common ortho injuries in child athletes because frequent pivoting, jumping, and sudden stopping are part of many games played by child athletes. It happens during football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and tennis, among other sports. ACL tears affect more females because of anatomical features like smaller thigh bones and broader hips.
Neuromuscular training helps prevent ACL injury by strengthening the core (trunk), hips, and hamstrings. Strength training exercises like jumping plyometrics increase resilience on the knee ligaments, bones, and associated muscles. A children’s trainer should also engage kids in improving balances and strengthening small muscles of the knees, legs, ankles, and feet to enhance resilience and reaction times. Warming up to loosen muscles and wearing proper footwear also helps to prevent ACL injuries or reduce their severity.
Injuries are unfortunate for any athlete, especially the children so trainers should learn preventative tips before starting to train their teams.